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236                         BYZANTINE CHURCHES                       CHAP.
approximately circular, and divided into sixteen shallow concave compartments, each pierced by a window. Some of these windows must have been always blocked by the roof of the north church. The eastern dome is a pronounced oval, notwithstanding the attempt to form a square base for it by building a subsidiary arch both on the south and on the north. It is divided into twenty-four concave compartments, twelve of which have windows. The drums of the domes adjoin each other above the transverse arch, so that the central west window of the eastern dome is pierced through to the western dome. The two windows on either side of that window are blind, and must always have been so. The floor in the archway leading into the south church is paved with inlaid marbles forming a beautiful design (Fig. 76). If the whole floor of the church was thus decorated the effect must have been extremely rich. On the exterior the apse shows seven sides, decorated with shallow blind niches. Like the church it is very irregularly set out. (Plate LXIX.)
The central church probably served as a mausoleum for the tombs of the imperial personages interred at the Pantokrator. In its form and in the arrangement of its domes, as well as in its position on the south of the church to which it strictly belongs, it resembles the parecclesion of S. Saviour in the Chora (p. 310).
The South Church.—The south church is of the same plan as the north church, but is larger and more richly decorated. It has two narthexes, which extend to both the north and south beyond the body of the building. The outer narthex, entered by a single door placed in the centre, is in five bayss covered with cross-groined vaults resting on pilasters. Its floor is paved with large slabs of Procon-nesian marble surrounded by a border of red marble. Five doors lead to the esonarthex—the three central dpors being framed in red marble, the other two in verd antique. On either side of the central door is a window also framed in verd antique, the jambs of the windows being cut from old columns, and retaining the circular form on their faces. Over the central door and the windows beside it is a large